International researcher network "TheLink" aims to accelerate the development chain for nanostructured polymers
Nanostructured polymers are either normal polymers mixed with nanostructured particulate materials or polymers which themselves have a nanosized structure. The nanostructures can provide additional functionalities to the materials such as electrical conductivity or electromagnetic shielding behaviour, or they can enhance the material's properties, for example by improving impact strength or by enabling selective filtering properties.
Coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, and funded by the European Union's Marie-Skłodowska-Curie programme, in the researcher network "TheLink" 15 postgraduates will carry out research and development work on nanostructured materials, including the simulation of their potential properties, their processing and production, and the characterization of the materials produced. The aim is to combine different disciplines to obtain a deeper understanding of the relationship between nano/micro structures and the physical properties of the final material and product.
TheLink will therefore fulfil another important role: the combination of the three research areas of simulation, characterization and processing is essential for efficient material development; however at present few researchers have the necessary background in all three. The 15 postgraduates in TheLink, who will be recruited by mid-2015, will gain a comprehensive insight into theoretical and practical work along the value chain, as well as training in transferable skills such as project management, which will prepare them for their future research careers.
The network offers the chance for outstanding postgraduates with the appropriate qualifications to participate in an international project with ten industrial and academic partners from Portugal, Spain, Italy, England, Greece, the Netherlands and Germany. Five industrial and academic associated partner organizations will support the research and training activities. For more information about the project and the open postgraduate positions, please contact the project coordinators at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT), Germany.
The partners in the TheLink network at the project kick-off meeting in November 2014: Fraunhofer ICT, Imperial College London, Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Bayer MaterialScience AG, Avanzare Innovacion Tecnologica SL, GVS SPA, University of Minho, University of Twente, Promolding BV.
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